Book Review: Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith

There are some books which you hear about so often that it finds a place in the corner of your mind, and when opportunity knocks, you decide to read it almost automatically. This book, a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, is one such read.

Guy Haines is an architect. He’s about to land a big contract, one that is very prestigious. Also on his mind is the impending divorce from his wife Miriam. Both seem to have moved on in their life, but Miriam is complicating things. When he meets Charles Bruno on a train journey, he ends up saying more about his life than he needs to, and from that moment on, Bruno takes advantage of that knowledge to pull Guy into a web, trapping the architect to a chain of events he cannot seem to control…

The storyline is one that had promise, and I looked forward to that. For a while, it doesn’t disappoint. The helplessness that Haines feels can be felt by the reader, as is the “in-your-face” attitude of Charley Bruno, knowing he controls Guy. The book is a page turner, and does justice to the psychological thriller genre till about half-way in, I think. Once Guy succumbs to the mindgames of Bruno, the story kind of falls flat. Gerard’s investigation did not feel as interesting as I thought it might, possibly because one knows what that is going to lead to. And the ending just feels tame.

Is it a good book? Yes. It definitely is. I would re-read the first half of the book for sure. But I don’t think it lives up to the expectations it had generated before my read. Not an “unputdownable must-read” in my opinion.


A Score Of 6 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Strangers on a Train
Author(s): Patricia Highsmith Genre: Thriller
ISBN/ASIN: B00HVF6UR4 Publisher: Virago

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
5th February 2018)

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